Charles Stanley returns to profit and shrugs off Brexit concerns

Abberley-Paul-Charles Stanley-2014Charles Stanley has returned to profit having reported a £0.3m loss last year.

The group reported pre-tax profits of £8.8m for the year ending 31 March 2017.

Funds under management and administration are up 17.1 per cent to £24bn, compared to £20.5bn last year, while the dividend increased 20 per cent to 6 pence per share, up from 5 pence per share in 2016.

As part of Charles Stanley’s plans to sell-off non-core parts of the business, Sipp and SSAS arm EBS was sold to Embark Group earlier this year, completing on 31 May. The sale did not impact cash flow, with reported revenues the same as last year at £141.6m.

The group cash balance increased form £48.4m last year to £58.4m while the core business operating margin rose to 7.1 per cent, up from 3.1 per cent in 2016. The target for 2020 is 15 per cent.

CEO Paul Abberley credited the group’s transformation programme with improving profitability.

He said: “Our strategy is now in place with improved governance, better cost control, a revised remuneration policy and clear plans to grow each of our client servicing divisions – investment management services, asset management, financial planning and Charles Stanley Direct – and to extract operating efficiencies across front and back office alike. As a result we are more streamlined, focused and in a position to deliver profitably the products and services our clients want and need.

Abberley added that the firm’s still plans to become the UK’s leading wealth manager by 2020.

“The group has benefited this year from favourable markets but there is global economic and political uncertainty to be navigated including the UK’s departure from the EU. While there is much speculation about the impact of Brexit on the financial services industry, we are confident that Charles Stanley, which has been at the heart of the City for over two centuries and weathered many storms, will continue successfully to serve our clients.”